Woman Finds Sexist Laundry Tag In Boyfriend's Pants

trousers tag woman her jobWhen Emma Barnett was cleaning her house last weekend, she picked up her boyfriend's pants, and noticed the laundry tag. It advised to wash the chinos inside out in warm water, to use only non-chlorine bleach, and to avoid ironing the print. "Or---" it adds at the bottom, "GIVE IT TO YOUR WOMAN, IT'S HER JOB."

Barnett happened to be the digital media editor on the major British newspaper The Telegraph. So she wrote an article. She knew "how to take a joke," she explains, "even when it seemed it was at the expense of my gender." But this hidden sexist imperative, to get "your woman" to fulfill her traditional function as laundress to the man, strangely irked her.

The problem, she says, is that there wasn't really anything funny about it. So a few days before International Women's Day, Barnett took to Twitter with the hashtag #sexisttrousers. She was deluged with notes of outrage and support, as well as a minority of folks who told her to "lighten up" and "take a joke," and that if she's offended she "needs to get a life," because it was all just "banter" -- a uniquely British term for mild insults that are meant to be laughed off.

"We really are in a bad place as a society," she writes, "when laughing something off has become virtually the only response to anything vaguely anti-female, or anti-male for that matter."

Barnett's colleague at The Telegraph, Tom Chivers chimed in with his own thoughts on banter. "It is cruelty unleavened by wit but which is excused because it is a bit like wit," he says, "if you look at it from a certain angle."

The store where Barnett's boyfriend bought the pants, called Madhouse, messaged Barnett an apology, saying "they didn't know, and they need to be more careful in future," she tweets.

Some say #sexisttrousers is simply a genius marketing ploy, and Madhouse will only benefit from the publicity. But whether that was the plan is unknown. For the time being, Madhouse's website has suddenly closed for maintenance, and the clothing store couldn't be reached for comment.



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42 Comments

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xak999

And yet, it's still open season on calling men idiots in commercial advertisements and laughing at them when they suffer testicular injury. No body said what the clothing line was, but it would have definitely been meant as only an in-joke. By the way, did she LEAVE the boyfriend over the pants he WORE, the pants he may received as a gift that she ASSUMED he purchased? or his unattributed attitude towards the great offense of women in general?

August 08 2013 at 3:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Debbie

Reading the comments left by the guys on here...wahahaha. Omgosh can anybody take a joke anymore.
I think it is hilarious! Lucky Brand Jeans have a tag right inside the zipper that reads "Lucky You". Inferring whoever unzips the jeans are in fact "lucky" to be doing so. Women don't cry about that tag because it makes them feel empowered.. lmao. But if you put a laundry tag on it, well that's not glamorous and they are not liking it! But according to the article 'she was cleaning her apartment and picked up her boyfriends pants', well if you are doing him, do his laundry too and stop crying. Even more importantly it is a JOKE.

August 06 2013 at 12:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sage Lewis

It seems like satire to me. It's funny because it's shockingly ridiculous. Like most of the comments here. I love satire because so many people don't get it.

August 05 2013 at 5:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
captbob5499

does it tell to woman how to un zip the ziper and get on her knees

July 23 2013 at 3:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
toothis

"Cleaning up after him, just happened to read all the tags..."

October 10 2012 at 8:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
toothis

She was going to wash his clothes. Too funny.

October 09 2012 at 2:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
toothis

Wait. Who is supposed to do laundry, then?

October 09 2012 at 2:17 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to toothis's comment
xak999

Servants.

August 08 2013 at 4:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brett Delong

What would happen if there was a tag on a ladies hammer saying 'Beat nail with hammer or GIVE IT TO YOUR MAN. IT'S HIS JOB.' I'll tell you. Nothing would happen. Women getting all fired up about this just reinforces the notion they are too weak and easily offended to be taken seriously.

April 04 2012 at 2:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Brett Delong's comment
xak999

They'd also laugh it the tag read: "Yeah, honey, you're gonna have to wash it because your boyfriend is an idiot when it comes to housework."

August 08 2013 at 4:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brett Delong

Madhouse has it all wrong. Having sex with her man whenever he wants it is her job. Doing his laundry is her duty.

April 04 2012 at 2:23 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
cathy

Is that all they have too do is talk about a tag in some pants. The world has bigger problems get real life is in section get on board.

March 22 2012 at 7:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to cathy's comment
xak999

You're right Cathy. With so much going on that is genuinely seriously. Let's face it, The worst thing the tag could have said was "Wash Separately."

August 08 2013 at 4:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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